For years, anglers have used the canoe as an ultimate stealth weapon when trying to stalk wary fish in hard to access locations. Modern times have introduced a new breed of fishing machine… the kayak. These two quiet modes of water transportation have brought Ontario anglers into what could only be classed as “North country paradise”. If you are seeking your own canoe/kayak paradise, then read on.
If you are looking for Muskie, Walleye, Northern Pike, Small and Largemouth Bass, as well as Panfish, then the Mattawa is a good choice. This gorgeous river starts at Trout Lake near North Bay and empties into the Ottawa River. Be cognisant that this is a fairly big river in places, so safety is of the utmost importance. If you’re willing to be mobile, then within a one-hour drive of the Mattawa, there are lots of smaller lakes and rivers that have spectacular canoe and kayak fishing.
Maple, Green, and Pine Lakes, Haliburton
This connected chain of lakes is perfect for canoe and kayak anglers. The lakes are not very big, and the creeks between them are scenic. There are both Bass species, as well as Muskie and Walleye available. The Haliburton area is one of Fish’n Canada’s favourite places to fish.
Algonquin is by far Ontario’s most popular park for canoe and kayak fishing. It encompasses a massive 7,653 km² of the province and was established way back in 1893. This was sacred fishing grounds for Angelo Viola in his younger years. Although Speckled (Brook) Trout was highest on his list, and incidentally is to most anglers still, other fish like Lake Trout, Splake, and Bass are great back-up species. A simple check-in at the park’s entrance is all it takes to put you into a canoeist’s and kayaker’s heaven.
Missinaibi Lake (big but beautiful)
Although Missinaibi is a big lake worthy of a boat and motor, it is still fishable with a canoe or kayak on the right calm days. We chose this area because of the difficult access (75 km of dirt road before you get there) and the lack of lodging on the lake. This makes it a great fishery, especially for Walleye. By bringing your rig(s) in and setting up a campsite at Missinaibi Provincial Park, you will find yourself on the doorstep of one of Ontario’s hidden gems.
Quetico Provincial Park
Many have heard of Quetico; however, not that many have experienced it. The fishing here may be the best canoe/kayak access fishing in the entire province. The extensive network of lakes and rivers at Quetico provide a variety of canoe and kayak wilderness travel experiences. Walleye, Lake Trout, Northern Pike, and Smallmouth Bass all swim these waters. Over 2,200 interior camping sites through out the park make staying in this wilderness area easy. There are special Ontario fishing regulations here, so make sure you check before you go.